You can probably relate when I say that a lack of funding is almost always a hindrance in ministry. We all want to do great things for God, and without money, a lot of those great things become impossible. I certainly don’t view money as the most important thing, but it is a necessary object to consider when attempting any ministry venture.
One of the most effective ways of raising funds is through benefactors. A benefactor is someone who benefits another party. In the church, benefactors are those who give great amounts of money to those in ministry.
Now, God provides when we “seek first His Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33). However, for this post, my conjecture is that God allows us to struggle financially sometimes because we fail to view these kind of benefactor men and women for who they truly are in Christ.
Here is a list of 4 ways we view benefactors incorrectly in the church.
Benefactors Are Unapproachable.
How many of you have ever met a celebrity? I got to meet Ted Nugent once. It was unreal. I was star-struck. My mind went blank, and I ended up saying something like, “Uh…Hi…My name is…uh…well, I can’t remember right now, but…You are so cool!”. If we’re honest with ourselves, sometimes in our sin, we might feel like celebrities are actually better than us.
To be sure, this is nothing short of idolatry. They are sinful humans just like us, and there is no need to put them on a pedestal. The only one who deserves the pedestal is Christ. Can I get an Amen?
On top of that, there is a bit of a taboo when it comes to talking about money. It just feels selfish.
So we feel intimidated, and then we feel as though we can’t bring up the single subject that can truly make our ministry efforts multiply. It’s quite a trap.
Let’s think clearly for a second, though.
These people are our brothers and sisters in Christ. And they are likely already giving to various ministries. They’re not stupid – they know that the Bible instructs the all of us to be “cheerful givers” (2 Corinthians 9:7), and that they should be “generous and ready to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).Let us never believe that #money = maturity. Click To Tweet
We should be able to approach our wealthier brothers and sisters about giving to a specific cause we believe in in the church. For many of these people, they are literally looking for something good to give to.
Don’t waste the opportunity.
Benefactors Already Have All the Leadership Development They Need.
Another problem is that we think rich people have it all figured out. If they have developed such a strong financial enterprise, it’s because they’re really good at everything in life, right?Don’t waste the opportunity. Click To Tweet
Now, they certainly have some things figured out. But it does not guarantee that they are spiritually ready to lead others. They need training just like the rest of us.
Jeff Reed in his article “Funding Spontaneous Expansion” writes this: “Benefactors are often not well established in the faith and rarely see themselves as vital players on an apostolic team that is having a transformational effect locally, nationally, or internationally”.
Lord God, let us never believe that money=maturity. It is certainly true that rich people can be mature and many of them are, but the two do not automatically go hand-in-hand.
What we’re looking for in benefactors are strong men and women who can manage well their money, faith, family, church, etc. It is our job as the church and church leaders to build them up into the person God made them to be.
Benefactors Are Only Good for One Thing – Giving.
Have you ever met a rich person who had no talents at all? Not many, I’m sure. To manage a successful business, it requires talents, and network connections, and leadership abilities.
All of these qualities are assets.
If we make the mistake of believing a rich brother or sister is only able to give money, then we are likely missing out on a wealth of creativity, opportunities, and effective ministry that could move the church into a new level of bringing the gospel to the city.
We Don’t Deserve the Help of Benefactors.
And here we find the greatest tragedy of all. If you go back up to #1 in the list, you’ll remember that we discussed the taboo of talking about money. We don’t want to step on people’s toes when it comes to finances.
It’s a tragedy because it completely misses the point of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
Essentially, this comes from a mistrust of the gospel. The mission of the church is part of the “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:11) of God. As ministers of the New Covenant, we can stand boldly in faith, knowing that our work to share the gospel with the world is extremely valuable to God.
And if it is valuable to God, then it should be valuable to any us – including those of us who have been trusted with a lot financial resources. Ministers today deserve the help of Benefactors.
A great resource on this subject of benefactors and raising funds is the book “The Millionaire In The Pew: A manual on major and deferred gift fundraising for clergy and religious leaders” by Russell L. Wilson.